It’s a little before seven in the morning. I am oddly surprised by a few teachers outside, whispering, but, hey, it’s early. In my extracurricular period, I’m told to visit Mr. X’s classroom, because he’s already got the news going, and “SHH!” Upon arriving at Mr. X’s classroom, my September 11, 2001 starts. In less than twenty minutes, I find out multiple jets have flown into the twin towers and the Pentagon, and we don’t know “SHH!” I am witnessing the North Tower, on fire, now crumbling. That was the moment when every single person I know realized they were seeing a moment that would define history, and would be a moment recounted in every history book. It was horrible, shocking, and beyond tragic, absolutely; but we all knew that the sheer awfulnesss was part of what made it historic. I don’t think that anyone knew what to expect, except that we were headed toward Terra Incognita, and being steered by forces far beyond our ability to control. Alea iacta est. The die is cast.

And, in retrospect, the fate on that very day was to, eventually, resume the US’s favorite hobby, “Ill-advised Adventures in Asia.”

I’m writing today because, earlier, I had another, “Holy shit; something generation-defining and scary as hell is happening right now.”

You can probably recall the situation; you probably saw it, but, we really need to discuss the American national mind-set, right now. We’ve become cannibals to each other; entire communities eager to brutalize and murder another in the name of order; communities who saw police lay down batons and join the protesters; it is so far beyond insane it defies description. My experience with cancer is that, when people think that there is no possible consequence for their actions, they tend to reveal that we’re all either saints or killers, with very little in between. That’s been the experience of the last week. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that almost all of the violence has been against otherwise peaceful protesters, and this is a violent-but-inevitable reckoning for 400 years of unresolved issues. That doesn’t make anyone experiencing it all feel any better, though. The best way to describe us at the moment is as a nation that has brutally and possibly permanently traumatized itself over the past few weeks. We need — desperately — some sort of reassurance, some shred of comfort, anything at all. These are big stakes, to be sure, and it certainly wasn’t fair to expect Trump to step up to the task, but, that is his job at the moment.

So, the news started with a stream that began a minute or two before Beloved Leader stormed the stage, and that two minutes of nothing was ominous and terrifying beyond words. This afternoon, I got the unique experience of turning on the national television station and hearing gunfire and explosions in the background; an experience I’d thought wouldn’t happen if I stayed away from war zones. Then Golden Leader took to the stage, and delivered… platitudes? I usually associate platitudes with comfort, this was all that usual, vaguely-threatening-but-meant-as-reassuring statements about bringing the killers to justice. Quite frankly, I tuned most of it out because, Jesus, there’s gunfire and explosions audible in a presidential address.

Then, Bunker Boy leaned forward, and in that creepy-coo, said,

I am your president of law and order

Ladies; I’d like to take you back to that one party last spring where you liked a guy, so you gave him your number, but later he was creepy and you left the party and he said, “Don’t worry, I have your number.” That was my, “Holy shit, the North Tower’s falling.” moment of the week. It was the moment when, as a nation, we needed something like comfort, even if it was meaningless, and the President of the United States of America threatened every single one of us, almost personally. Despite what you might think of the current situation, and who you might be rooting for, I guarantee you, every single American, everywhere, just wants to go home and get some sleep in peace right now, and he knows where we live.

Without wishing to dismiss or infringe the victims of sexual assault, I have ask if this isn’t like some deeply horrendous personal violation. I somehow feel even worse about the planet now than I did when this morning, and, I’ve had that a few times. We are all now the victims of Presidential abuse. The very thing all of our founding fathers feared is embodied in the guy who must somehow guide us through our insurmountable challenges and differences.

The North Tower is crumbling in front of me.

UPDATE: I went back to that uniquely terrifying speech and caught that bit about how the governors will “End the lawlessness, and end it now.” He was threatening us, I am beyond certain. This is almost literally a James Bond villain revealing his new super laser to a helpless Bond.

UPDATE: I’d forgotten that Bunker Boy started his day by — I am totally not making this up at all — having a photo-op in front of a local church which had protesters in front of it. He cleared the protesters out using tear gas ( For those of you in the back, let me reiterate; The President gassed a church this morning. This is beyond a James Bond villain, this is cartoonishly, grotesquely evil. “Beloved Leader Storms Ye Olde Church” is some serious, “Skeletor’s Third Reich” heinous shit. The president is no longer threatening us; he is — again, not exaggerating this — personally attacking fellow Americans. Regardless of your political persuasion, that level of open violence and animosity toward the public must not be tolerated. We were dumb enough to play the, “Oh, he’s just being hyperbolic” crap at the “American Carnage” line. I’m now also reasonably certain his goal is to literally shoot an innocent American on prime-time TV to see if he can then win an election. Care to know why I think that? Because he fucking told us he would (

Science journalist, cancer survivor, biomedical consultant, the “Wednesday Addams of travel writers.”

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